Steroids in MMA
Which MMA Fighter Will Test Positive For Steroids Next?

August, 2009

CagePotato Power Rankings Updated

Gegard Mousasi MMA Strikeforce
(How do you say "Don’t be scared, homey" in Armenian? Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

Following recent action in the UFC, Strikeforce, and Sengoku, we’ve updated the lightweight, welterweight, light-heavyweight, heavyweight, and pound-for-pound lists in our Power Rankings section. First, a word about the P4P top ten

Can we all agree that Anderson Silva, Fedor Emelianenko, and Georges St. Pierre are the three best fighters in the world right now, and any attempt to rank them is completely subjective, and therefore meaningless? Instead of creating a three-way tie at the top (which I briefly considered), we’re going to do it like this until further notice: Whoever has the most recent awe-inspiring, damn-near-inhuman performance gets to be #1.


Gina Carano Will Have to Be Consoled By Her Six-Figure Paycheck

(Well look at Strikeforce trying to harness the power of the Internet. Who do they think they are, Bellator? Video courtesy of shosports.)

During her stint in EliteXC, Gina Carano was paid far less than her value to the company. It’s good to see that’s not the case in Strikeforce — though unfortunately, money doesn’t guarantee victories. MMA Mania passes along the disclosed salary figures for all the fighters who competed at "Carano vs. Cyborg," with Carano and Renato Sobral leading the pack. The numbers are below…

Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos: $25,000 (includes $5,000 win bonus)
Gina Carano: $125,000

Gegard Mousasi: $2,000* (no win bonus)
Renato Sobral: $75,000

Gilbert Melendez: $50,000 (no win bonus)
Mitsuhiro Ishida: $30,000

Fabricio Werdum: $50,000 (includes $25,000 win bonus)
Mike Kyle: $14,000


Randy Couture: “I Have Nothing Else to Prove”

Randy Couture

At UFC 102 in Portland on August 29, former UFC champ Randy Couture takes on Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in a battle between two of the sport’s most venerable veterans.  It’s a fight to see who still has the chops to compete in the UFC’s heavyweight class, though Couture insists he isn’t looking at it that way.  In this interview “The Natural” talks about his preparation for Big Nog, how Brock Lesnar may have set MMA back a few years, and where he sees himself after this fight is in the books.

Thanks for talking with me, Randy.  How has your training been going for this fight, and what are you focusing on to help you beat a guy like Nogueira?

It’s going really well.  Training’s been great.  I’ve been working a lot on my jiu-jitsu.  I think that’s going to be a critical tool to have sharp for Nogueira.  I’ve been working on my boxing and kickboxing, and I think that’s going to play a key role in this fight because of my wrestling background.  As always I’m working a lot on strength and conditioning as well with Jake, our strength coach, and I’m feeling great.  I feel a peak coming.

The last time we saw Nogueira he looked like he just wasn’t himself.  Are you expecting to face the old Nogueira that we saw in Pride, or do you think that was a sign that he may be on the downward slope of his career?


Video: Mike Swick Can’t Strike

Despite all the things he does well as a fighter, Mike Swick is not a very good bowler.  I found this out when I went to San Jose recently to do a Fight Magazine cover story on him (September issue, on newsstands everywhere Aug. 25, though if you were a subscriber you’d already have yours) and he invited me to come bowling with him and his wife.  As I would learn, even a night at the bowling alley is an intense affair for the Swick househould.

If you couldn’t tell from the video, Swick is a competitive guy.  Even though he doesn’t bowl often, and even though I bowled probably the best game of my life through some glorious accident, he couldn’t quite let it go.  He accused me of spending all my free time in bowling alleys (not true, I sometimes go to movies), and a week later I got a text message from him informing me that he beat my score at Wii bowling (my response: “I just beat Anderson Silva at UFC Undisputed, so now we both know there’s a big gap between video games and reality.”)


Mitsuhiro Ishida Claims Gilbert Melendez Was Greasy

Gilbert Melendez Mitsuhiro Ishida MMA Strikeforce
(Photo courtesy of Strikeforce.)

As first reported by and confirmed by FiveOuncesofPain, members of Mitsuhiro Ishida‘s camp have issued a verbal complaint to the California State Athletic Commission that Gilbert Melendez was illegally greased up during their fight at Saturday’s Strikeforce event. Melendez defeated Ishida by third-round TKO in a one-sided match marked by Melendez’s flawless counter-punching and takedown defense. During their first meeting in 2007, Ishida was able to control Melendez with his takedowns and grappling, which could explain why Ishida thought something didn’t feel right in San Jose. Melendez, of course, dismissed the charges as ludicrous, telling Sherdog:

“I did not grease in the fight. The athletic commission was with me the whole time. I didn’t bring any grease with me. I didn’t think there was much grappling in the fight anyway…. It’s kind of funny, but kind of weak. I beat him good and there’s no way I greased.”

Ishida has until the end of the week to file a formal complaint in writing if he wants to further pursue the charge. As we’ve seen in the past, greasing accusations can be effective if you’re Japanese, and the guy who beat you is Korean, and the fight took place in Japan. It’s a lot harder to find sympathy in the U.S., even when you have an entire music video’s worth of evidence.


UFC 102 In-Depth Video Preview

(Props: Heavy via MMA Mania)

This coming weekend will be a quiet one in the world of MMA, but two Saturdays from now, the UFC will descend on Portland’s Rose Garden Arena for UFC 102, which will be headlined by a heavyweight battle between two legends — Randy Couture and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. The above video trailer does its best to downplay their recent losses to Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir, respectively, but Dana White does mention that it’s a fight where "we’re going to see where they are in the heavyweight division." The storyline for Randy (as always) is that he can never be counted out, even though he’s 46 years old, while Joe Rogan calls Minotauro "one of the most durable fighters to ever fight in all of mixed martial arts" and drools over his submission prowess.

The other featured bout in the trailer is Keith Jardine vs. Thiago Silva. The Dean of Mean isn’t too bothered by his rocky path in the light-heavyweight division, saying "I’m taking the hard road to the title, but I’m gonna make it to the top, it’s only a matter of time." Also: "My goal is find my opponent’s soul and take it from him." As Joe Rogan sees it, this fight "represents to me two guys who are desperately in need for a win…two guys coming off losses with a lot to prove."

Related: Citing Oregon’s deep recession and aggressive tax policy, MMA Payout reports that UFC 102 is far from sold out, particularly in the higher-priced sections. So if you live near the Rose Garden, you may want to show up the day of the event…


Smacktalk Roundup: Brett Rogers Suggests That Overeem “Man Up,” Overeem’s Manager Calls Rogers “Brainless”

While hanging around San Jose for this past weekend’s Strikeforce event, Brett Rogers gave this interview to, where he said he hopes Strikeforce heavyweight champ Alistair Overeem will “man up” and fight him soon.  Of course, that implies that Overeem is staying out of action due to issues of bitchassness, rather than because he nearly lost his hand after brawling with some bouncers.  Not surprisingly, Overeem’s manager, Bas Boon, wasn’t going to let that remark slip by uncontested:

“Does Brett Rogers think this help’s him? Alistair trains everyday with punchers like Errol Zimmerman, Gokhan Saki, Karaev, Sergei Kharitonov, and Semmy Schilt. He knocked out one of the best strikers in the world in Badr Hari in the first round under Hari’s rules (K-1). He fought three rounds against three time K-1 World Champion Remy Bojasky and would have won that fight had they counted the second round knock down. What exactly does Brett Rogers have on his record?”

Dana White Still Set on Making Anderson Silva Fight His Friend

Anderson Silva and Dana White
(If you loved him, Anderson, you’d want him to be happy. And if you wanted him to be happy, you’d do whatever he tells you to at all times. Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

Sooner or later UFC fighters are going to figure out that the best way to get a fight with a specific opponent is to publicly declare that they will not, under any circumstances, fight that person.  Not only will Dana White be unable to resist trying to make you fight that person, he’ll also probably end up paying you a little extra to do it.  For example, look at how he refuses to give up on the idea of pitting Anderson Silva against his best buddy, Lyoto Machida.  

Even though Silva says he won’t do it, ever, no matter what, White still talks as if it’s simply a matter of him playing Emperor and forcing them into the arena together:


WEC Fighter Cole Province Tests Positive for Steroids

Cole Province MMA WEC steroids
(Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

According to MMA Fanhouse, WEC featherweight prospect Cole Province has tested positive for the designer anabolic steroid Methasterone, following his unanimous decision win over Fredson Paixao at WEC 42:

Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer told FanHouse on Monday that there is a possibility that Province’s win may be changed to a no decision. Whether or not a fine and suspension will be issued, will be determined after Province responds to a complaint to be sent out by the commission this week.

The 28-year-old Oklahoma native is the fourth MMA fighter to test positive for steroids this year — following Kirill Sidelnikov, Ken Shamrock, and Josh Barnett — but just the first fighter to piss dirty in Nevada since Kit Cope in January 2007. Province only made six grand for his recent win, and will likely be giving up a sizable chunk of it to the NSAC. We’ll update the definitive timeline as soon as we learn more about Province’s punishment and response.

Related: All fighters who competed at Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg tested clean for "drugs of abuse." Results from steroid tests will come back in three to four weeks.


Scott Coker Viciously Punk’d by Cris Cyborg

Cristiane Cris Cyborg Santos Evangelista MMA Strikeforce
("Cris? Do you think that maybe *I* could be on top tonight?"
"Get a decent win streak together and we’ll talk." Photo courtesy of MMA Weekly.

Practical jokes are like knockout punches — they both rely on timing for maximum devastation. Cristiane and Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos understand this better than anybody. Who knows why they’d want to give Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker a heart attack the night before an already cursed event, but  oh boy did they get him:

The Strikeforce promoter is usually calm and cool under the worst of circumstances, and the weeks leading up to the show featured plenty of them, as several matches had to be rearranged for various reasons. But he thought he had a nightmare scenario on his hands the night before the show.
At about 9:30 p.m. on Friday night, on a show where every major match but the main event fell apart, Coker got a phone call from the Santos camp. They were apologetic, saying that they had no idea beforehand, but that when the commission was testing Santos, they found out that she was pregnant and the fight was off. Coker fell for it…though later he was told it was a prank. Good thing for Coker – and for Santos.

Too bad we couldn’t be there to see Coker’s reaction. We’re guessing it looked something like this.